Will Miami Ever Be Home to a First-Class Bakery?

Categories: Musings
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Despite being home to many James Beard Award-winning and nominated chefs, Miami continues to lack a first-class bakery. I'm not talking about those obscure places offering bland baguettes and lackluster pastries, and I definitely don't mean those cupcake shops that keep popping up just about everywhere. I'm talking about award-winning bread that is baked in real time, out of a burning oven, from scratch and with real, artisan flavors.

Lee Klein has already pointed out that upscale hotels are the best bet for good bread, since these are the locales that can afford a great chef to bake for the entire property. This quality hasn't come easy and Andrew Carmellini, the James Beard Award-winning chef of The Dutch at the W South Beach, has actually found it challenging to produce great bread in Miami. "Bread is tough here. I wasn't happy with anything we tried and our experiments in house didn't yield great results." His theory? High humidity levels make it difficult to create the flavorful, crisp crust required of a good loaf. Instead of battling it out, Carmellini serves up a delicious option that is not at the mercy of the weather, "We serve our cornbread [at The Dutch], which doesn't have to be crunchy or leavened."

Jordi Panisello, executive pastry chef of the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, also admits that it isn't easy baking in Miami. "Baking here is much different than baking in Arizona or Colorado. Here, you can make croissants or crusty breads in the morning and because of the weather, they can begin to wilt in a few hours." To combat the issue of humidity, Panisello bakes breads and pastries as close to service time as possible. He also maintains all baking studios with strict temperature controls and goes as far as to supply the chocolate room with a humidifier.

Great chefs like Carmellini and Panisello are figuring out ways to work around the weather and they are already producing quality baked goods. Whether by offering only certain types of bread, baking close to service time or maintaining strict environmental controls, a great loaf can definitely be baked in our sunny, humid city. Now all Miami needs is a chef who is willing to brave the tropical weather and open up the local bakery that we are all waiting for. Until then, I guess my cravings for a great bakery will have to be satisfied by upscale hotels, or maybe I will just have to start eating a hell of a lot of cupcakes.

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Location Info

The Dutch

2201 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL

Category: Restaurant

Fontainebleau Miami Beach

4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL

Category: General


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21 comments
SOBE Res
SOBE Res

Panera Bread has some of the best bread in the world! And is up for a James Beard award soon I'm sure. I live in south beach and heard they're opening one here.

David
David

La Provence makes incredible bread and sells to some of Miami's best restaurants

Bulli
Bulli

Go visit L'Atelier Gourmet. Best bakery ever!!!!

hungry for more
hungry for more

Bread is easy to make. Great bread is a whole 'nother story. Chefs are not bakers, and no where do restaurant kitchens do well as bakeries. The best bakeries around the world are dedicated facilities that live and breath yeast cultures. Andrews cornbread is nothing special, but at least he admits that he can't bake bread either, even though his pies are great.

TRon82
TRon82

Funny, My cousin (French Baker in Lyon, France for the past 15 years) and I have seriously been contemplating opening up a bakery here in Miami or even start out as a catering company that distributes to high end hotels/restaurants all over Miami.We found the lack of authentic quality bread in the region, and given the enormous amount of tourists coming here, we thought they deserved somethign that reminded them of home or Europe for that matter. There are a few bakeries mentioned in the comments but they are no easily accessible to tourists; only locals who actually know the spot. One problem mentioned is obviously the weather and its humidity, but that can be defied with a bit of technology. Also the real estate on the Beach which can get outrageously expensive. We'd love to open up a very authentic bakery that sticks out from the "La Provence/Chez Paul" generic brand idea, and really offer that ideal bread that many are seeking to find here. The other problem is getting him a visa to come work here!!!!

Nlcooper
Nlcooper

dry cornbread at the dutch, must be the humidity

Nlcooper
Nlcooper

la parisienne , wholesale only

Ed
Ed

Momo - give the author a break, I know what she's talking about.  None of the places mentioned here, and I've been to all, come close to say an Acme Bread (Berkeley, CA), La Brea Bakery (before it was sold, Los Angeles, CA), Tartine (San Francisco, CA) or even Boudin Bakery (San Francisco, CA).

Delices de France is OK, but nothing compared to these places when it comes to the quality and variety of bread (as an aside, I think the best baguette in Miami is L'Atelier Monnier).  I'm giving New Times a rare kudos for highlighting the fact that we're relegated to mediocre bread in Miami and to hopefully show that there's a need and a want for something better.

And as far breadmaking here being tough because of the humidity, I'm not an experty but I believe there may be some hyperbole as (i) in the winter the humidity in Miami can be no more than the humidity of dreary wet winters in, say, Paris and (ii) if a city like Seattle, which is as humid as Miami, can have great bakeries and make great bread, there's no reason we can't do it here (http://travel.nytimes.com/2010...

Rlopez
Rlopez

Pretty tough to beat Joanna's Mkt on 67th and Dixie. Best bread in town.

Momo
Momo

Delices De France located at 14453 S Dixie Hwy, Miami, FL 33176 has the best baguettes, pastries, almond and chocolate crossaints, etc in all of Miami.  You guys are obviously oblivious to everything that is good in Miami when it isn't a Pubbelly off shoot or New York City import.  If I could quit my day job (attorney) I would help Frod write a real Miami food blog instead of the uninformed crap you guys spew. 

Ed
Ed

There used to be Renaissance Bakery and they were great.  Probably ahead of their time.  They provided bread all around Miami and had a shop in North Miami.  Then one day they were gone.

http://www.miaminewtimes.com/b...

Nickrec1986
Nickrec1986

again, not a James Beard Award winner. Emily, everyones comments just proves your point... WE WANT A LEGIT AWARD WINNING BAKERY IN MIAMI.

Momo
Momo

Okay, I may have been a bit rough, there are no true James Beard Award worthy bakers here in Miami.  My apologies.  I read so many articles full of misinformation that I get all worked up haha. 

Derp
Derp

Are there any James Beard Award-winning beards in Miami?

Emily Codik
Emily Codik

Momo - Thank you for your observation, but please note that the article is talking about the lack of first class, award-winning bread. There currently are no James Beard Award-winning bakeries in Miami, not even Delices De France.

Frodnesor
Frodnesor

Biga Bakery, also now gone, was a similar story.

Frodnesor
Frodnesor

Michael Schwartz's beard won a Beard.

If you're asking if any Miami chefs have won a Beard Award, yes, several: Schwartz, Michelle Bernstein, Norman Van Aken, Douglas Rodriguez (Rising Star) come to mind off the top of my head.

If you're asking if any Miami pastry chefs have won a Beard Award, no I don't think so. But the pastry chef award is a national award and the chances of a Miami pastry chef winning it are pretty tough. Hedi Goldsmith (at Michael's Genuine) made the first cut after semifinalist and is a nominee this year.

If you're asking if any Miami bakeries have won a Beard Award, there's no award for bakeries.

Momo - sorry, the food blog job doesn't pay as well as the law.

Emily Codik
Emily Codik

Yes, for example, Michael Schwartz and Michelle Bernstein are among Miami's James Beard Award winners. This year, several other places/people have been nominated such as Jeff McInnis, Hedy Goldsmith, Jarrod Verbiak, Paula DaSilva & Sergio Navarro. 

Madeleine
Madeleine

I am glad you mentioned Biga.  I was the founder and owner.  It has reached legendary status in South Florida because it provided its customers with superb European-style bread and pastry. People came from everywhere to sample our wares;  unfortunately, not enough came from South Florida on a reguar basis and every night we shipped the leftovers to Camillus House.  I sold the place years ago and started designing and manufacturing fine linens and contemporary rugs for the hospitality industry.  Sorry, Camillus House, but there are no leftovers in this new industry as my design work lasts longer than a day.  Biga was fun while it lasted but I haven't regretted selling the company for a moment.mlowdesigns@yahoo.com

Ed
Ed

Well, I for one very much miss the flourless chocolate cake.  I haven't found one better since.

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